Protesters must also address anti-Semitism

Now that the war has begun, it seems — ironically — that one of the only places where Jews are breathing easier is Israel.

As of this writing, Iraq had sent no missiles into the Jewish state, though Israelis had been gearing up for weeks. They are still supposed to be carrying their gas masks and antidotes everywhere, but many are not, figuring the worst is already over.

Jews in many other countries are afraid, however.

An Orthodox man was beaten in Germany, and two Jewish teens were attacked in France over the weekend. French Jews are so frightened that 26 percent have considered moving, according to one poll.

Throughout the world, Jews in countries with large Muslim populations are afraid the war is being viewed as the West vs. Islam.

While we in the United States, and more specifically, the Bay Area, feel secure — so far — the Anti-Defamation League reported a 900 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents here last year. Yes, 900 percent. There were only 13 such incidents in 2001, compared with 118 in 2002. And it probably surprises no one to learn that the majority of those incidents occurred in the same months that Israel conducted its forays into Jenin and other parts of the West Bank.

Another less explicit form of anti-Semitism has been hitting the Bay Area since the onset of war. Some of the loudest anti-war voices are making disturbing connections between Israel's interests and U.S. military actions.

Jews have had a long history of being involved in progressive politics. There is no contradiction in being Jewish and anti-war, but we hope that activists of all faiths can keep one eye on Iraq and the other on the terror that Israel and Jews around the world continue to experience on an almost daily basis.

We all seek peace but not if its pursuit spreads hatred against worldwide Jewry. After all, isn't that just another form of violence?